Drought hurting area trees even after storms - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Drought hurting area trees even after storms


Storms yesterday had many Eastern Iowans cleaning up their yards this afternoon.

Plants and trees needed the water but the summer's drought has already done damage.

Tom Sloane was sitting in his home when storms blew through Cedar Rapids yesterday.

He spent much of today cleaning up stray branches from his yard.

"It does look like a lot but it's all rather small stuff," said Sloane. "These trees tend to shed a lot of small stuff when the wind blows anyway. So it looks like a lot but it's really not that much."

Cedar Rapids got about two inches of rain in just 30 minutes yesterday afternoon.

But according to Brett Peckosh of Peck's Flower & Garden Shop, the trees weren't able to absorb much of the moisture because of the summer's drought.

"Those feeder roots aren't active," said Peckosh.  "A lot of them have died back or dried up and so when it does rain, the plant's not going to have the opportunity to suck up the moisture like it should."

Trees need an inch of rain a week, so the lack of water has already had an impact in the area.

"You'll see the visual effects of leaf scorch, fruit loss on fruit trees, flowers will dry up," said Peckosh.

If there's consecutive years of drought, branches on trees could start to die.

Sloane says his trees are stressed, but holding up well.

Yesterday's storms brought him some good news.

"I'm not going to have to call anyone to trim them this winter," said Sloane.

The summer drought is also going to impact the fall color.

Leaves on trees won't have as rich of color because they haven't received enough moisture.

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